I've always been a bit quiet with "the public", so to speak; those everyday strangers that become like family as you flow through the ins-and-outs of your knick-knack life. Convenience store clerks and gas station attendants, the bum down the street and the struggling actress waiting at the diner.. you name it, these people are there and real but almost like papier-mâché; set pieces to your theatrical life. Fantastical stereotypes with busted left speakers, coming through thin and frail among all that static.
In fact, when I was younger I would avoid making phone calls to strangers because it just wasn't a fun experience. Librarians.. mechanics.. everyone. The only voice I felt okay with was the telephone operator. I think it was because I knew she would tell me the time. All I had to do was ask and she would speak. Like magic, it would come trickling over the tiny wires and come popping out of the little earpiece of the phone and I could hang up, just like that, without offending anybody.
I'm not sure why I started out that way. Maybe because I grew up in the woods or because of who I (didn't) hang out with. Maybe it was because my older sister was even worse than I was? Nevertheless, through time and practice and emulation of those who have already memorized their lines, through effort and change and concentrated emotion, I have eeked out a character, I only partially know, onto this life's stage. I walk into stores now and make funny jokes, making baubles from banter and cheering people up. But it still seems odd and out of place, more conscious than I'd like.
I keep wondering if someday it all falls into place..
.. or if we all just keep falling